Registration procedures

Understand rules and procedures for individual course registration.

Registration Eligibility

All students who are degree candidates and currently registered, except graduating seniors, are eligible to participate in registration for the next immediate semester. Each term students are assigned a registration eligibility time based on the number of credit hours students have completed. Special student populations (athletes, honors, and DRES) go first, followed by seniors and graduate students. It is the student's responsibility to consult the Office of the Registrar in a timely fashion to determine registration eligibility time. It is to the student's advantage to register as soon after registration eligibility time as possible since that provides the best opportunity to enroll in courses that the student wants for the next semester.

In preparing for registration, students should plan their course program carefully, noting that students are expted to enroll for no fewer than 12 credit hours and no more than 18 credit hours. Identification of alternate courses is an important part of planning, in the event that your first-choice courses are not available.

Common registration error messages

  • College restriction. Some courses are restricted to students in a certain college, such as ACES or FAA. Contact the department within the college to find out if (and when) the restriction will be lifted. You can find department contact information in the Course Explorer.
  • Link error. Specific lecture sections must be linked to a corresponding lab or discussion section. If you get this error, look at the Course Explorer. The section code for the lecture and the discussion/lab must start with the same letter (A, B, etc.). For example, if you want to register for SOC 100, you need a lecture (AL1) and discussion section ( ADA or ADF). If you do not have both the lecture and discussion section selected, you will get a link error. If you register for a BL1 lecture and an ADA discussion, you will get a link error.
  • Major restriction. Some courses are restricted to certain majors during advanced registration. If you receive this error and want to know when the restriction will be lifted: 
    1. Look up the course in the Course Explorer. It may show when the restriction will be lifted for non-majors.
    2. Contact the department directly.
  • Prereq/test score error. You get this message when you don't have some attribute required of the course or section. Check the section restrictions in the Course Explorer.

Most often, courses are held for James Scholars, pre-College of Media students, Weston or Allen Hall students, Bridge Transition students, and so on. Generally, these classes will not open to other students, so search for an unrestricted section.

Advisor consultations

General advising

First-year and transfer students are advised by a staff of LAS professional, faculty, and graduate assistant academic advisors as well as by designated departmental advisors.

Once students achieve sophomore standing (30 credits), most are authorized to complete their own course transactions, except for the credit/no credit option. This self-authorization is not meant to imply that you can advise yourself. All students are encouraged to consult with their advisors and the college staff, particularly about academic requirements or programs.

Major advising and major plan of study

Below are instances when advising approval may be required for all students.

  • Students in the Sciences and Letters curriculum may be required to obtain an academic advisor's approval for courses applied toward their major requirements. Departmental advisors can explain the guidelines and rules that apply in the student's chosen major and assist in developing an integrated program of study. In most instances, students will be expected to discuss their major plan of study with an advisor and to explain the rationale for the courses proposed to take.
  • Students may also be required to file a major plan of study with their advisor and LAS Student Academic Affairs during the fifth semester.
  • Occasionally, a course substitution to meet a specific requirement of the major may be recommended by an advisor. Such recommendations are submitted to LAS Student Academic Affairs. Note that the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has ultimate authority with respect to approval of the substitution. Contact the college's student office directly regarding any final decision on a course substitution request involving a major requirement.
  • Consultation and the approval of an advisor may be required for holds.